Ever since jello became a household name in 1897, people have used the colloquialism, "That's like nailing jello to a wall" to symbolize futility. Well, now it seems they're in need of a new one. John explained his tactics as "unconventional and sneaky," but was willing to share his secret method with this reporter:
"Well, for the longest time I just tried to use more jello-friendly nails. Ya know, ones with marshmallows or fruit on them...to entice the jello to stay put. Well, that didn't work. So I tried thick nails, long nails, short nails...and then it struck me. I just needed to be quicker than the jello. And, instead of just nailing right through it, I should make a wall of nails right below the jello. It took me a long time to learn how to hammer that many nails in so short a time. But I did it. I beat the jello."
Some of Mr. Buckenstead's competitors have called his tactics cheating, but he defended his claim:
"Look, some people think it's okay to freeze the jello, then drill through it and lightly hammer a nail through it on the wall. I didn't do that. That jello was jiggly, bouncy, and full of life. I stuck it to him."
Indeed Mr. Buckenstead. But this is not a victory for everyone. While some are calling it the "triumph of the decade" and a sure sign of the last days before the Second Coming, others are not so happy. Ruth Gipswitch, of Jackson, Mississippi was less than pleased. Not only had she been quite fond of the jello colloquialism, but the slogan of her bakery and dessert shop is "You won't find a better cake, unless you can nail jello to a wall." She had this to say:
"I thought I was safe. I mean, I tried a couple times just for fun to see if I could nail jello to the wall. Every time I failed. So I made that brash slogan. Now I regret it. I'm losing business."
Other people who have heard Mr. Buckenstead's story are at a loss. Some don't know what they'll use to replace their favorite turn of phrase. Some of the suggestions have made people cringe:
"It's like trying to herd cats" or "That's about as useful as a trap door on a canoe" just don't seem to cut it.